Long COVID: Cedars-Sinai Researchers Find COVID-19 Vaccine Produces Antibodies Far Longer Than Expected

Illustration COVID-19 Antibodies

A study from Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute suggests that immune system dysfunction could be causing long COVID-19. The study found that patients with long COVID-19 produced antibodies against the virus for an extended period after vaccination, with especially high levels of nucleocapsid antibodies. The implications of this sustained immune response are still unclear, and researchers are now seeking a definitive biomarker for diagnosing and understanding long COVID-19.

Findings show people with long COVID-19 respond differently to COVID-19 vaccines.

A new study by investigators from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai suggests long COVID-19 might be caused by a dysfunction of the immune system.

The study, published in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases, found that after people with long COVID-19 received the COVID-19 vaccine, they produced antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19 for months longer than expected.

When a person has an infection, the immune system typically responds by making antibodies that block germs from entering cells. Vaccines imitate an infection so that the body’s immune system knows to release certain antibodies when it comes across a virus. In both cases, the immune system eventually stops creating antibodies when the suspected infection is gone.

“There’s general consensus that some level of aberrant immune response happens in long COVID-19, and this study adds to the evidence to suggest this is true,” said Catherine Le, MD, co-director of the Cedars-Sinai COVID-19 Recovery Program and a senior author of the study.

Long COVID-19, a condition in which people experience COVID-19-related symptoms three months or more after initial infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, is estimated to affect 65 million people worldwide. Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction such as confusion and forgetfulness. Some symptoms can have debilitating effects.

To study the immune response of people with long COVID-19, investigators analyzed blood samples from 245 people diagnosed with long COVID-19 and 86 people who had COVID-19 and fully recovered. All the study participants had received either one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine regimen.

“We examined one part of the immune system response, the production of antibodies, which is mediated by immune cells called B-cells,” Le explained.

Specifically, the investigators looked at two types of antibodies that attack the virus that causes COVID-19. One of these is called the spike protein antibody, which attacks a protein on the exterior of the virus. The other is the nucleocapsid antibody, which attacks the part of the virus that allows it to replicate.

The investigators found that people who were diagnosed with long COVID-19 produced higher levels of spike protein and nucleocapsid antibodies than people without long COVID-19. Eight weeks after receiving a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, antibody levels in people without long COVID-19 began to decrease, as was expected. People with long COVID-19, however, continued to have elevated antibody levels, especially of nucleocapsid antibodies.

“What you would expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccination is a jump in your spike protein antibody levels, but you wouldn’t expect a significant increase in nucleocapsid antibody levels,” said Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, the Erika J. Glazer Chair in Women’s Cardiovascular Health and Population Science, director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging in the Department of Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute, and a senior author of the study. “You would also expect these levels to eventually decrease and not persist for so long after vaccination.”

Although this study shows that long COVID-19 affects the immune system, it’s too soon to draw firm conclusions from these findings, according to the study’s authors.

“Theoretically, the production of these antibodies could mean that people are more protected from infection,” Le said. “We also need to investigate if the elevated immune response corresponds with severity or number of long COVID-19 symptoms.”

Investigators are continuing to study blood samples from people with long COVID-19. They are hoping to identify a measurable molecule that could be used to diagnose long COVID-19 and better understand the biological processes that cause it.

Reference: “Post-COVID-19 conditions alter a person’s immune response” by Sandy Joung, Brittany Weber, Min Wu, Yunxian Liu, Amber B. Tang, Matthew Driver, Sarah Sternbach, Timothy Wynter, Amy Hoang, Denisse Barajas, Yu Hung Kao, Briana Khuu, Michelle Bravo, Hibah Masoom, Teresa Tran, Nancy Sun, Patrick G. Botting, Brian L. Claggett, John C. Prostko, Edwin C. Frias, James L. Stewart, Jackie Robertson, Alan C. Kwan, Mariam Torossian, Isabel Pedraza, Carina Sterling, Caroline Goldzweig, Jillian Oft, Rachel Zabner, Justyna Fert-Bober, Joseph E. Ebinger, Kimia Sobhani, Susan Cheng and Catherine N. Le, 16 February 2023, BMC Infectious Diseases.
DOI: 10.1186/s12879-023-08060-y

Other Cedars-Sinai investigators who worked on the study include Sandy Joung; Min Wu; Yunxian Liu, PhD; Matthew Driver; Sarah Sternbach; Timothy Wynter; Amy Hoang; Denisse Barajas; Yu Hung Kao; Briana Khuu; Michelle Bravo; Hibah Masoom; Teresa Tran; Nancy Sun; Patrick G. Botting; Jackie Robertson; Alan C. Kwan, MD; Mariam Torossian, MD; Isabel Pedraza, MD; Carina Sterling, NP; Caroline Goldzweig, MD; Jillian Oft, MD; Rachel Zabner, MD; Justyna Fert-Bober, PhD; Joseph E. Ebinger, MD; and Kimia Sobhani, PhD.

Funding: The study was funded by Cedars-Sinai, the Erika J. Glazer Family Foundation, Sapient Bioanalytics, LLC, and the National Institutes of Health (award numbers K23-HL153888 and R01-HL131532).

3 Comments on "Long COVID: Cedars-Sinai Researchers Find COVID-19 Vaccine Produces Antibodies Far Longer Than Expected"

  1. VoluntaryExchange | April 27, 2023 at 4:11 am | Reply

    Only a normie would believe this. Long-covid? Oh you mean the shot is causing your body to make too much of the toxic spike protein? You don’t say! Are you saying that they rolled this clot shot out knowing that antibody dependent enhancement happened in the animal trials and that’s why humans have never had a coronavirus mRNA shot before? Yes, because they don’t care about your health. Only your money. Only your obedience. Keep trusting companies who have paid billions in fines and are insulated from lawsuits. Imagine having a history of corruption and still being allowed to produce experimental shots which your own governmental regulatory agencies coerced and manipulated you into taking. This isn’t conspiracy. This is what happened. Wake up you tools. Safe and effective?! They knew it wasn’t safe or effective from the beginning. You’re lab rats with Monopoly money.

  2. Richard Kelly | April 28, 2023 at 1:28 pm | Reply

    Bit by bit, Long COVID research is recapitulating the last 40 years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research.

  3. This is not the last pandemic, and my immune cells can be used to make a vaccine medicine within a few hours against almost any natural virus. Treats coronavirus in 1 day and protects for a long time.
    After all, I have the strongest t-cell immunity proved by 3 immunograms in them, t-cells are exceeded in abs.number / ml in all 3 immunograms, everything is normal as a percentage, Since my first PDF file came out badly, I transmit its values: lymphocytes 4108 at the norm of 800-3600, t-lymphocytes 2835 at the norm of 600-2500, t-helpers 1808 at a rate of 450-850, t-cytotolic 945 at a rate of 270-540. 1 I did the immunogram on 22.08.2017, the second immunogram after 21 days at the request of a local immunologist on 12.09.2017, the third immunogram was done half a year later the next day after I had a cold on 19.03.2018. I made them in the Branch of the State Medical Institution “RCPB AIDS and FROM the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Tatarstan” in Almetyevsk.; I have such high t-cell counts because I suffer from two rare internal incurable diseases As proof of my immunity, I can send 3 PDF files
    I had coronavirus at least 2 times 1 time in 2 days in August, symptoms: cough, sneezing, runny nose, fever and headache. The fact that he got sick on August 1 can be proved by the deputy chief physician of the 33 polyclinic in Almetyevsk. On August 3, PCR was performed, Toli is ill, toli is not and In the Nab.The analysis in Naberezhnye Chelny showed a negative result. On August 3, the symptoms ended in the evening. On August 4, a nurse from the same polyclinic came in the morning. At first she communicated with me in a mask and then she made sure that I was healthy and continued to communicate with me without a mask. 2 times somehow noticed the antibodies to the coronavirus spontaneously rose from 201 to 316. The most important proof is that I was sick with the coronavirus. I went through an in-depth medical examination in the direction of 33 polyclinics. Another proof that I was sick with coronavirus. The day after my recovery, my mother fell ill with the same symptoms but also loss of sense of smell. To prove my immunity, I will tell you how I got hepatitis B in 2.5 months or less. In mid-November, he was tested for AIDS hepatitis, the analysis was negative, and in early February, the same analysis showed antibodies to hepatitis B and after 20 days there were no traces of antibodies left. Infected by accident
    My medicine consists of monoclonal antibodies, these antibodies are the strongest weapon against almost any natural virus. I can defeat any coronavirus mutation. Because monoclonal antibodies affect a protein that does not change. Monoclonal antibodies are produced from immune cells and artificially cloned. So I can defeat the coronavirus and transfer this ability to people.
    I suffer from olivopontocerbral degeneration with cerebellar atrophy, the disease leads to premature death. Previously, the deterioration occurred after a long time and now the deterioration occurs almost every day. I read on the Internet that my disease is treated with stem cells. It is not completely cured, but this treatment gives me an extra 20 years of life and the symptoms disappear for the same time. But the treatment is too expensive and I thought I would save humanity from a pandemic and in exchange they would treat me for free. And that’s why I began to strengthen my immunity.
    I am a psycho with a diagnosis of organic personality disorder, but I have done an analysis of Electroencephalography, Magnetic resonance imaging and Computed Tomography that refute my mental diagnosis.

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